Articles of Confederation: To
all to whom these Presents shall come, we the undersigned Delegates of the States affixed to our Names send greeting.
Articles of Confederation and perpetual Union between the states of New Hampshire,
Massachusetts-bay Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland,
Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.
I. The Stile of this Confederacy shall
be "The United States of America".
II. Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and
right, which is not by this Confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled.
III. The said States hereby severally enter into a firm league of friendship with each other, for their
common defense, the security of their liberties, and their mutual and general welfare, binding themselves to assist each other,
against all force offered to, or attacks made upon them, or any of them, on account of religion, sovereignty, trade, or any
other pretense whatever.
IV. The better to secure and perpetuate mutual friendship and intercourse among the people of the different
States in this Union, the free inhabitants of each of these States, paupers, vagabonds, and fugitives from justice excepted,
shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of free citizens in the several States; and the people of each State shall
free ingress and regress to and from any other State, and shall enjoy therein all the privileges of trade and commerce, subject
to the same duties, impositions, and restrictions as the inhabitants thereof respectively, provided that such restrictions
shall not extend so far as to prevent the removal of property imported into any State, to any other State, of which the owner
is an inhabitant; provided also that no imposition, duties or restriction shall be laid by any State, on the property of the
United States, or either of them.
If any person guilty of, or charged with, treason, felony, or other high misdemeanor
in any State, shall flee from justice, and be found in any of the United States, he shall, upon demand of the Governor or
executive power of the State from which he fled, be delivered up and removed to the State having jurisdiction of his offense.
Full faith and credit shall be given in each of these States to the records, acts,
and judicial proceedings of the courts and magistrates of every other State.
V. For the most convenient
management of the general interests of the United States, delegates shall be annually appointed in such manner as the legislatures
of each State shall direct, to meet in Congress on the first Monday in November, in every year, with a powerreserved to each
State to recall its delegates, or any of them, at any time within the year, and to send others in their stead for the remainder
of the year.
No State shall be represented in Congress by less than two, nor more than seven members;
and no person shall be capable of being a delegate for more than three years in any term of six years; nor shall any person,
being a delegate, be capable of holding any office under the United States, for which he, or another for his benefit, receives
any salary, fees or emolument of any kind.
Each State shall maintain its own delegates in a meeting of the States, and while they
act as members of the committee of the States.
In determining questions in the United States in Congress assembled, each State shall
have one vote.
Freedom of speech and debate in Congress shall not be impeached or questioned in any
court or place out of Congress, and the members of Congress shall be protected in their persons from arrests or imprisonments,
during the time of their going to and from, and attendence on Congress, except for treason, felony, or breach of the peace.
VI. No State, without the
consent of the United States in Congress assembled, shall send any embassy to, or receive any embassy from, or enter into
any conference, agreement, alliance or treaty with any King, Prince or State; nor shall any person holding any office of profit
or trust under the United States, or any of them, accept any present, emolument, office or title of any kind whatever from
any King, Prince or foreign State; nor shall the United States in Congress assembled, or any of them, grant any title of nobility.
No two or more States shall enter into any treaty, confederation or alliance whatever
between them, without the consent of the United States in Congress assembled, specifying accurately the purposes for which
the same is to be entered into, and how long it shall continue.
No State shall lay any imposts or duties, which may interfere with any stipulations
in treaties, entered into by the United States in Congress assembled, with any King, Prince or State, in pursuance of any
treaties already proposed by Congress, to the courts of France and Spain.
No vessel of war shall be kept up in time of peace by any State, except such number
only, as shall be deemed necessary by the United States in Congress assembled, for the defense of such State, or its trade;
nor shall any body of forces be kept up by any State in time of peace, except such number only, as in the judgement of the
United States in Congress assembled, shall be deemed requisite to garrison the forts necessary for the defense of such State;
but every State shall always keep up a well-regulated and disciplined militia, sufficiently armed and accoutered, and shall
provide and constantly have ready for use, in public stores, a due number of filed pieces and tents, and a proper quantity
of arms, ammunition and camp equipage.
No State shall engage in any war without the consent of the United States in Congress
assembled, unless such State be actually invaded by enemies, or shall have received certain advice of a resolution being formed
by some nation of Indians to invade such State, and the danger is so imminent as not to admit of a delay till the United States
in Congress assembled can be consulted; nor shall any State grant commissions to any ships or vessels of war, nor letters
of marque or reprisal, except it be after a declaration of war by the United States in Congress assembled, and then only against
the Kingdom or State and the subjects thereof, against which war has been so declared, and under such regulations as shall
be established by the United States in Congress assembled, unless such State be infested by pirates, in which case vessels
of war may be fitted out for that occasion, and kept so long as the danger shall continue, or until the United States in Congress
assembled shall determine otherwise.
VII. When land forces are raised
by any State for the common defense, all officers of or under the rank of colonel, shall be appointed by the legislature of
each State respectively, by whom such forces shall be raised, or in such manner as such State shall direct, and all vacancies
shall be filled up by the State which first made the appointment.
VIII. All charges of war, and
all other expenses that shall be incurred for the common defense or general welfare, and allowed by the United States in Congress
assembled, shall be defrayed out of a common treasury, which shall be supplied by the several States in proportion to the
value of all land within each State, granted or surveyed for any person, as such land and the buildings and improvements thereon
shall be estimated according to such mode as the United States in Congress assembled, shall from time to time direct and appoint.
The taxes for paying that proportion shall be laid and levied by the authority and
direction of the legislatures of the several States within the time agreed upon by the United States in Congress assembled.
IX. The United States in Congress
assembled, shall have the sole and exclusive right and power of determining on peace and war, except in the cases mentioned
in the sixth article -- of sending and receiving ambassadors -- entering into treaties and alliances, provided that no treaty
of commerce shall be made whereby the legislative power of the respective States shall be restrained from imposing such imposts
and duties on foreigners, as their own people are subjected to, or from prohibiting the exportation or importation of any
species of goods or commodities whatsoever -- of establishing rules for deciding in all cases, what captures on land or water
shall be legal, and in what manner prizes taken by land or naval forces in the service of the United States shall be divided
or appropriated -- of granting letters of marque and reprisal in times of peace -- appointing courts for the trial of piracies
and felonies commited on the high seas and establishing courts for receiving and determining finally appeals in all cases
of captures, provided that no member of Congress shall be appointed a judge of any of the said courts.
The United States in Congress assembled shall also be the last resort on appeal in
all disputes and differences now subsisting or that hereafter may arise between two or more States concerning boundary, jurisdiction
or any other causes whatever; which authority shall always be exercised in the manner following. Whenever the legislative
or executive authority or lawful agent of any State in controversy with another shall present a petition to Congress stating
the matter in question and praying for a hearing, notice thereof shall be given by order of Congress to the legislative or
executive authority of the other State in controversy, and a day assigned for the appearance of the parties by their lawful
agents, who shall then be directed to appoint by joint consent, commissioners or judges to constitute a court for hearing
and determining the matter in question: but if they cannot agree, Congress shall name three persons out of each of the United
States, and from the list of such persons each party shall alternately strike out one, the petitioners beginning, until the
number shall be reduced to thirteen; and from that number not less than seven, nor more than nine names as Congress shall
direct, shall in the presence of Congress be drawn out by lot, and the persons whose names shall be so drawn or any five of
them, shall be commissioners or judges, to hear and finally determine the controversy, so always as a major part of the judges
who shall hear the cause shall agree in the determination: and if either party shall neglect to attend at the day appointed,
without showing reasons, which Congress shall judge sufficient, or being present shall refuse to strike, the Congress shall
proceed to nominate three persons out of each State, and the secretary of Congress shall strike in behalf of such party absent
or refusing; and the judgement and sentence of the court to be appointed, in the manner before prescribed, shall be final
and conclusive; and if any of the parties shall refuse to submit to the authority of such court, or to appear or defend their
claim or cause, the court shall nevertheless proceed to pronounce sentence, or judgement, which shall in like manner be final
and decisive, the judgement or sentence and other proceedings being in either case transmitted to Congress, and lodged among
the acts of Congress for the security of the parties concerned: provided that every commissioner, before he sits in judgement,
shall take an oath to be administered by one of the judges of the supreme or superior court of the State, where the cause
shall be tried, 'well and truly to hear and determine the matter in question, according to the best of his judgement, without
favor, affection or hope of reward': provided also, that no State shall be deprived of territory for the benefit of the United
All controversies concerning the private right of soil claimed under different grants
of two or more States, whose jurisdictions as they may respect such lands, and the States which passed such grants are adjusted,
the said grants or either of them being at the same time claimed to have originated antecedent to such settlement of jurisdiction,
shall on the petition of either party to the Congress of the United States, be finally determined as near as may be in the
same manner as is before presecribed for deciding disputes respecting territorial jurisdiction between different States.
The United States in Congress assembled shall also have the sole and exclusive right
and power of regulating the alloy and value of coin struck by their own authority, or by that of the respective States --
fixing the standards of weights and measures throughout the United States -- regulating the trade and managing all affairs
with the Indians, not members of any of the States, provided that the legislative right of any State within its own limits
be not infringed or violated -- establishing or regulating post offices from one State to another, throughout all the United
States, and exacting such postage on the papers passing through the same as may be requisite to defray the expenses of the
said office -- appointing all officers of the land forces, in the service of the United States, excepting regimental officers
-- appointing all the officers of the naval forces, and commissioning all officers whatever in the service of the United States
-- making rules for the government and regulation of the said land and naval forces, and directing their operations.
The United States in Congress assembled shall have authority to appoint a committee,
to sit in the recess of Congress, to be denominated 'A Committee of the States', and to consist of one delegate from each
State; and to appoint such other committees and civil officers as may be necessary for managing the general affairs of the
United States under their direction -- to appoint one of their members to preside, provided that no person be allowed to serve
in the office of president more than one year in any term of three years; to ascertain the necessary sums of money to be raised
for the service of the United States, and to appropriate and apply the same for defraying the public expenses -- to borrow
money, or emit bills on the credit of the United States, transmitting every half-year to the respective States an account
of the sums of money so borrowed or emitted -- to build and equip a navy -- to agree upon the number of land forces, and to
make requisitions from each State for its quota, in proportion to the number of white inhabitants in such State; which requisition
shall be binding, and thereupon the legislature of each State shall appoint the regimental officers, raise the men and cloath,
arm and equip them in a solid-like manner, at the expense of the United States; and the officers and men so cloathed, armed
and equipped shall march to the place appointed, and within the time agreed on by the United States in Congress assembled.
But if the United States in Congress assembled shall, on consideration of circumstances judge proper that any State should
not raise men, or should raise a smaller number of men than the quota thereof, such extra number shall be raised, officered,
cloathed, armed and equipped in the same manner as the quota of each State, unless the legislature of such State shall judge
that such extra number cannot be safely spread out in the same, in which case they shall raise, officer, cloath, arm and equip
as many of such extra number as they judeg can be safely spared. And the officers and men so cloathed, armed, and equipped,
shall march to the place appointed, and within the time agreed on by the United States in Congress assembled.
The United States in Congress assembled shall never engage in a war, nor grant letters
of marque or reprisal in time of peace, nor enter into any treaties or alliances, nor coin money, nor regulate the value thereof,
nor ascertain the sums and expenses necessary for the defense and welfare of the United States, or any of them, nor emit bills,
nor borrow money on the credit of the United States, nor appropriate money, nor agree upon the number of vessels of war, to
be built or purchased, or the number of land or sea forces to be raised, nor appoint a commander in chief of the army or navy,
unless nine States assent to the same: nor shall a question on any other point, except for adjourning from day to day be determined,
unless by the votes of the majority of the United States in Congress assembled.
The Congress of the United States shall have power to adjourn to any time within the
year, and to any place within the United States, so that no period of adjournment be for a longer duration than the space
of six months, and shall publish the journal of their proceedings monthly, except such parts thereof relating to treaties,
alliances or military operations, as in their judgement require secrecy; and the yeas and nays of the delegates of each State
on any question shall be entered on the journal, when it is desired by any delegates of a State, or any of them, at his or
their request shall be furnished with a transcript of the said journal, except such parts as are above excepted, to lay before
the legislatures of the several States.
X. The Committee of the States,
or any nine of them, shall be authorized to execute, in the recess of Congress, such of the powers of Congress as the United
States in Congress assembled, by the consent of the nine States, shall from time to time think expedient to vest them with;
provided that no power be delegated to the said Committee, for the exercise of which, by the Articles of Confederation, the
voice of nine States in the Congress of the United States assembled be requisite.
XI. Canada acceding to this confederation, and
adjoining in the measures of the United States, shall be admitted into, and entitled to all the advantages of this Union;
but no other colony shall be admitted into the same, unless such admission be agreed to by nine States.
XII. All bills of credit emitted,
monies borrowed, and debts contracted by, or under the authority of Congress, before the assembling of the United States,
in pursuance of the present confederation, shall be deemed and considered as a charge against the United States, for payment
and satisfaction whereof the said United States, and the public faith are hereby solemnly pleged.
XIII. Every State shall abide
by the determination of the United States in Congress assembled, on all questions which by this confederation are submitted
to them. And the Articles of this Confederation shall be inviolably observed by every State, and the Union shall be perpetual;
nor shall any alteration at any time hereafter be made in any of them; unless such alteration be agreed to in a Congress of
the United States, and be afterwards confirmed by the legislatures of every State.
And Whereas it hath pleased the Great Governor of the World to incline the hearts of
the legislatures we respectively represent in Congress, to approve of, and to authorize us to ratify the said Articles of
Confederation and perpetual Union. Know Ye that we the undersigned delegates, by virtue of the power and authority to us given
for that purpose, do by these presents, in the name and in behalf of our respective constituents, fully and entirely ratify
and confirm each and every of the said Articles of Confederation and perpetual Union, and all and singular the matters and
things therein contained: And we do further solemnly plight and engage the faith of our respective constituents, that they
shall abide by the determinations of the United States in Congress assembled, on all questions,
which by the said Confederation are submitted to them. And that the Articles thereof shall be inviolably observed by the States
we respectively represent, and that the Union shall be perpetual.
In Witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands in Congress. Done at Philadelphia
in the State of Pennsylvania the ninth day of July in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy-Eight, and
in the Third Year of the independence of America.
Agreed to by Congress 15 November 1777 In force after ratification by Maryland, 1 March
Constitution of the United States
Preamble to the Constitution (consists
of a single sentence):
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect
Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure
the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of
Section. 1. All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress
of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.
Section. 2. The House of
Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors
in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.
Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen
of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.
and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their
respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service
for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.]1 The actual Enumeration
shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of thc Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent
Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct. The number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every
thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State
of New Hampshire shall be entitled to chuse three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut
five, New-York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South
Carolina five, and Georgia three.
When vacancies happen in the Representation from any State, the Executive Authority
thereof shall issue Writs of Election to fill such Vacancies.
The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker
and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.
Section. 3. The Senate of the United States
shall be composed of two Senators from each State, [chosen by the Legislature thereof,]2 for six Years; and each
Senator shall have one Vote.
Immediately after they shall be assembled in Consequence of the first Election, they
shall be divided as equally as may be into three Classes. The Seats of the Senators of the first Class shall be vacated at
the Expiration of thc second Year, of the second Class at the Expiration of the fourth Year, and of the third Class at the
Expiration of the sixth Year, so that one third may be chosen every second Year; [and if Vacancies happen by Resignation,
or otherwise, during the Recess of the Legislature of any State, the Executive thereof may make temporary Appointments until
the next Meeting of the Legislature, which shall then fill such Vacancies.] 3
No Person shall be a Senator
who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall
not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen.
The Vice President of the United States
shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.
The Senate shall chuse their
other Officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the Absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the Office
of President of the United States.
The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for
that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall
preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.
Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office
of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment,
Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.
Section. 4. The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections
for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any
time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.
The Congress shall assemble
at least once in every Year, and such Meeting shall be [on the first Monday in December,]4 unless they shall by
Law appoint a different Day.
Section. 5. Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications
of its own Members, and a Majority of each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business, but a smaller Number may adjourn from
day to day, and may be authorized to compel the Attendance of absent Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as
each House may provide.
Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour,
and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member.
Each House shall keep a Journal of its Proceedings, and from
time to time publish the same, excepting such Parts as may in their Judgment require Secrecy; and the Yeas and Nays of the
Members of either House on any question shall, at the Desire of one fifth of those Present, be entered on the Journal.
House, during the Session of Congress, shall, without the Consent of thc other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any
other Place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.
Section. 6. The Senators and Representatives
shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by law, and paid out of the Treasury of thc United States.
They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance
at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either
House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.
No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which
he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States, which shall have been created,
or the Emoluments whereof shall have been encreased during such time; and no Person holding any Office under the United States,
shall be a Member of either House during his Continuance in Office.
Section. 7. All Bills for raising Revenue
shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.
Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it becomes a Law, be presented to
the President of the United States; If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to
that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider
it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the
Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it
shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by Yeas and Nays, and the Names of
the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively. If any Bill shall
not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall
be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case
it shall not be a Law.
Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the Concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives
may be necessary (except on a question of Adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States, and before
the Same shall take Effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two thirds of the
Senate and House of Representatives, according to the Rules and Limitations prescribed in the Case of a Bill.
8. The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for
the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout
the United States
To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;
To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations,
and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;
To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform
Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;
To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of
foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;
To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities
and current Coin of the United States;
To establish Post Offices and post Roads;
To promote the Progress of
Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings
To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;
To define and punish Piracies and
Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;
To declare War, grant Letters of Marque
and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on land and Water;
To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation
of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;
To provide and maintain a Navy;
To make Rules
for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;
To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute
the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining,
the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the
States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline
prescribed by Congress;
To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding
ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government
of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State
in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards and other needful Buildings;--And
make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested
by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.
9. The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not
be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on
such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.
The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not
be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.
No Bill of Attainder
or ex post facto Law shall be passed.
No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the
Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken.5
No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported
from any State.
No Preference shall be given by any Regulation of Commerce or Revenue to the Ports of one State over
those of another: nor shall Vessels bound to, or from, one State, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay Duties in another.
Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account
of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.
No Title of Nobility shall
be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent
of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign
Section. 10. No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque
and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass
any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility;
State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely
necessary for executing it's inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports
or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision
and Controul of the Congress.
No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops,
or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage
in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.
Section. 1. The executive Power shall be vested in
a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the
Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows
Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature
thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may
be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United
States, shall be appointed an Elector.
[The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for
two Persons, of whom one at least shall not be an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves. And they shall make a List
of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each; which List they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed
to the Seat of the Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall,
in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted.
The Person having the greatest Number of Votes shall be the President, if such Number be a Majority of the whole Number of
Electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such Majority, and have an equal Number of Votes, then the House
of Representatives shall immediately chuse by Ballot one of them for President; and if no Person have a Majority, then from
the five highest on the List the said House shall in like Manner chuse the President. But in chusing the President, the Votes
shall be taken by States, the Representation from each State having one Vote; A quorum for this Purpose shall consist of a
Member or Members from two thirds of the States, and a Majority of all the States shall be necessary to a Choice. In every
Case, after the Choice of the President, the Person having the greatest Number of Votes of the Electors shall be the Vice
President. But if there should remain two or more who have equal Votes, the Senate shall chuse from them by Ballot the Vice
The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall
give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.
No Person except a natural born Citizen,
or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President;
neither shall any person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been
fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.
[In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his
Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office, the Same shall devolve on the Vice
President, and the Congress may be Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President
and Vice President, declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the
Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.]7
The President shall, at stated Times, receive
for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have
been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.
he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:--"I do solemnly swear (or affirm)
that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve,
protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
Section. 2. The President shall be Commander in
Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service
of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments,
upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons
for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.
He shall have Power, by and with the Advice
and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and
by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of
the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for,
and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they
think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.
The President shall have
Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire
at the End of their next Session.
Section. 3. He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of
the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may,
on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them and in Case of Disagreement between them with Respect to
the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other
public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United
Section. 4. The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed
from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.
Section. 1. The judicial Power of the United States,
shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.
The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Officer during good Behaviour, and shall at stated Times,
receive for their Services, a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.
2. The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United
States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority, --to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public
Ministers and Consuls; --to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction, --to Controversies to which the United States
shall be a Party; --to Controversies between two or more States, --[between a State and Citizens of another State;]8
between Citizens of different States, --between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States,
[and between a State or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.]9
In all Cases
affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall
have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction,
both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.
The Trial of
all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment; shall be by Jury, and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes
shall have been committed but when not committed within any State, the Trial shall be at such Place or Places as the Congress
may by Law have directed.
Section. 3. Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War
against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless
on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.
The Congress shall have Power
to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during
the Life of the Person attainted.
Section. 1. Full Faith and Credit shall be given in
each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State; And the Congress may by general Laws
prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.
2. The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.
Person charged in any State with Treason, Felony, or other Crime, who shall flee from Justice, and be found in another State,
shall on Demand of the executive Authority of the State from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having
Jurisdiction of the Crime.
[No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into
another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered
up on Claim of the party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.]10
Section. 3. New States may
be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other
State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures
of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.
The Congress shall have rower to dispose of and make all needful
Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution
shall be construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State.
The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of
them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened)
against domestic Violence.
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it
necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the
several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and
Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions
in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment
which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses
in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of it's equal Suffrage
in the Senate.
All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into, before the Adoption
of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation.
Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which
shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State
shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.
and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers,
both of thc United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution;
but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.
The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall
be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same.
Done in Convention
by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven
hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth In Witness whereof We have hereunto
subscribed our Names,
G. Washington -- President and deputy from Virginia (names continued
on next page)
Wm. Saml. Johnson
Gunning Bedford jun
Dan of St. Thos. Jenifer
James Madison Jr.
Richd. Dobbs Spaight
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney
Attest William Jackson Secretary
The first three articles set up the threefold separation of powers, said to have been
modeled on Montesquieu's study, which on this point was incorrect, of the British government. In actuality this separation
has been weakened by the granting of greater powers to the President and his administrative agencies, which now have legislative
and judicial as well as executive functions.
Article 1 provides for the establishment of the bicameral Congress composed of the
Senate and the House of Representatives. The various powers of the Congress and the respective houses, together with their
methods of election, are enumerated in the article. The Seventeenth Amendment, passed in 1916, instituted the direct popular
election of Senators and removed the power of their election from the state legislatures as had originally been provided in
Section 4 of Article 1 gives the states power over the conduct of federal elections
but permits the Congress to alter such regulations at any time. In 1842 the Congress imposed the district system on the United
States. In 1962 the Supreme Court dealt with proper apportionment of election districts and in its decision in Baker
v. Carr allowed voters to go into a federal court to force equitable representation in a state legislature. This decision
was, however, based on the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Later, the court ruled (1964) that state legislative
apportionment must reflect the one-person one-vote principle.
As a legislative body Congress has certain inherent powers. Among these are the power
to investigate pursuant to legislative needs. Congressional investigations have led to a great many court decisions concerning
the right of a witness before a Congressional committee to refuse to testify even when granted immunity from prosecution.
Section 8 of Article 1 lists the enumerated powers of the Congress. The clause of this
section, the "commerce clause," which grants the Congress the right to "regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among
the several States," has, in the 20th cent., been used as a strong argument for the expansion of government power. Since the
historic case of Gibbons v. Ogden (1824), the commerce clause has been the battleground over which much of the struggle
for and against increased federal regulation of private enterprise has been fought. Until the late 1930s Congress exercised
its powers under the clause solely with reference to transportation. But after a series of dramatic reversals by the Supreme
Court, Congress began to enter areas that had previously been controlled only by the states. The commerce clause is now the
source of important peacetime powers of the national government and an important basis for the judicial review of state actions.
Besides its enumerated and inherent powers, the Congress has implied powers under Article
1 "to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution" the enumerated or expressed powers. Sections
9 and 10 of Article 1 contain guarantees of the writ of habeas corpus, prohibit bills of attainder and ex post facto laws, and also improve certain limitations
on state power.
2: The Executive Branch
Article 2 creates the executive branch of government headed by the President, elected,
along with the Vice President, for a term of four years (see president; electoral college). The Twenty-second Amendment (1951) provides that no person may be elected President
more than twice. The Twenty-third Amendment (1961) permits District of Columbia residents to vote in presidential elections.
Since the adoption of the Constitution there have been two conflicting views of Article 2. The first is that the powers of
the President are limited to those enumerated in the article. The opposite view is that the President is given executive power
not limited by the provisions of the rest of the article. Every President has had to make the choice of interpretations for
3: The Judiciary
Article 3 provides for a judiciary and defines treason. Besides its enumerated powers, the judiciary has the inherent authority to interpret
laws and the Constitution with an authority that must be deferred to. Article 3 also guarantees trial by jury in criminal
cases and lays the basis for federal jurisdiction. The Eleventh Amendment (1798), which prohibits suits against any state
by citizens of another state or foreigners (see sovereignty), was passed in reaction to the Supreme Court's accepting jurisdiction of a suit against
a state by a citizen of another state.
4: The States
Article 4 deals with the relations of the states (see conflict of laws), providing that "Full faith and credit shall be given in each State to the public acts,
records, and judicial proceedings of every other State." Section 2 prohibits any state from discriminating against citizens
of other states, or in favor of its own. It also provides for the extradition of criminals. The article guarantees a republican
form of government to every state and provides for the admission of new states as well as the government of territories.
5: Amending the Constitution
Article 5 provides for amending the Constitution. The supremacy of the federal Constitution
and of federal law over those of the states is the heart of the federal system and is established by Article 6. Article 6
also provides for an oath of office for members of the three branches of the federal government and the states and specifically
forbids any religious qualification for office. Article 7 declares that the Constitution should go into force when ratified
by nine states.
The Constitution has undergone gradual alteration with the growth of the country. Some
of the 26 amendments were brought on by Supreme Court decisions. However, the first 10 amendments, which constitute the Bill
of Rights, were added within two years of the signing of the federal Constitution in order to ensure sufficient guarantees
of individual liberties. The Bill of Rights applied only to the federal government. But since the passage of the Fourteenth Amendment (1868), many of the guarantees contained in the Bill of Rights have been extended to
the states through the "due process" clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
The Bill of Rights
The First Amendment guarantees the freedom of worship, of speech, of the press, of
assembly, and of petition to the government for redress of grievances. This amendment has been the center of controversy in
recent years in the areas of free speech and religion. The Supreme Court has held that freedom of speech does not include
the right to refuse to testify before a Congressional investigating committee and that most organized prayer in the public
schools violates the First Amendment.
The right to bear arms openly–adopted with reference to state militias–is
guaranteed by the Second Amendment, while freedom from quartering soldiers in a house without the owner's consent is guaranteed
by the Third Amendment. The Fourth Amendment protects people against unreasonable search and seizure, a safeguard only recently
extended to the states.
The Fifth Amendment provides that no person shall be held for "a capital or otherwise
infamous crime" without indictment, be twice put in "jeopardy of life or limb" for the same offense, be compelled to testify
against himself, or "be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law." The privilege against self-incrimination
has been the center of a great deal of controversy as a result of the growth of Congressional investigations. The phrase "due
process of law," which appears in the Fifth Amendment, is also included in the Fourteenth Amendment. As a result there has
been much debate as to whether both amendments guarantee the same rights. Those in favor of what is termed fixed due process
claim that all the safeguards applied against the federal government should be also applied against the states through the
Fourteenth Amendment. The supporters of the concept of flexible due process are only willing to impose those guarantees on
the states that "are implicit in the concept of ordered liberty."
The Sixth Amendment guarantees the right of speedy and public trial by an impartial
jury in all criminal proceedings, while the Seventh Amendment guarantees the right of trial by jury in almost all common-law
suits. Excessive bail, fines and "cruel and unusual" punishment are prohibited by the Eighth Amendment. The Ninth Amendment
states that "The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained
by the people."
By the Tenth Amendment "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution,
nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." Powers reserved to the states
are often termed "residual powers." This amendment, like the commerce clause, has been a battleground in the struggle over
states' rights and federal supremacy.
The Other Amendments
Of the succeeding sixteen amendments, the Eleventh, Seventeenth, Twenty-second and
Twenty-third Amendments have already been discussed under Articles 1, 2, and 3. The Twelfth (1804) revised the method of electing
President and Vice President. The Thirteenth (1865), Fourteenth (1868), and Fifteenth (1870) are the Civil War and Reconstruction
amendments; they abolish slavery, while guaranteeing civil rights and suffrage to U.S. citizens, including former slaves.
The Sixteenth Amendment (1913) authorizes the income tax. Prohibition was established by the Eighteenth Amendment (1919) and repealed by the Twenty-first (1933).
The Nineteenth (1920) grants woman suffrage. The Twentieth (1933) abolishes the so-called lame-duck Congress and alters the date
of the presidential inauguration. The poll tax and any other tax made a requirement for voting in primaries and elections
for federal office was outlawed by the Twenty-fourth Amendment (1964). The Twenty-fifth (1967) establishes the procedure for
filling the office of Vice President between elections and for governing in the event of presidential disability. The Twenty-sixth
Amendment (1971) lowers the voting age in all elections to 18. The Twenty-seventh Amendment (1992), first proposed in 1789,
establishes procedures for Congressional pay increases.
Original Ten Amendments: The Bill of Rights
Passed by Congress September 25, 1789. Ratified
December 15, 1791.
Freedoms, Petitions, Assembly
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,
or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people
peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Right to bear arms
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free
State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without
the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers,
and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable
cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to
Rights in criminal cases
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous
crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the
Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be
twice put in jeopardy of life or limb, nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be
deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without
Right to a fair trial
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to
a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed; which
district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be
confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the
assistance of counsel for his defence.
Rights in civil cases
In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed
twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise re-examined
in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
bail, fines, punishment
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed,
nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
Rights retained by the People
The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be
construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution,
nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
Lawsuits against states
The Judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend
to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by Citizens of another State, or by
Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State. Ratified February 7, 1795.
The Electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote
by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves;
they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President,
and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President,
and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government
of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate;--The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the
Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted;--The person having the
greatest number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors
appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the
list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But
in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum
for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall
be necessary to a choice. [And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall
devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-President shall act as President, as in the
case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President.]* The person having the greatest number
of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed,
and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President;
a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall
be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of
Vice-President of the United States. Ratified June 15, 1804. Superseded
by Section 3 of the Twentieth Amendment
Abolition of slavery
Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude,
except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or
any place subject to their jurisdiction.
Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce these article by appropriate
legislation. Ratified December 6, 1865.
Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United
States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No
State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor
shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within
its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
Section 2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the
several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians
not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United
States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof,
is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States,
or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be
reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one
years of age in such State.
Section 3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector
of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who,
having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State
legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall
have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may
by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.
Section 4. The validity of the public debt of
the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing
insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt
or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation
of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.
Section 5. The Congress
shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article. Ratified
July 9, 1868
Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States
to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition
Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Ratified February 3, 1870.
The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes,
from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration. Ratified
February 3, 1913.
The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two senators
from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each
State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislature.
vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs
of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to
make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.
shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution. Ratified
April 8, 1913.
Prohibition of liquor
Section 1. After one year from the ratification of this
article, the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation
thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.
2. The Congress and the several States shall have concurrent power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures
of the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States
by the Congress. Ratified January 16, 1919. Repealed by the Twenty-First, December 5, 1933
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied
or abridged by the United States or by any States on account of sex. Congress shall have power to enforce
this article by appropriate legislation. Ratified August 18, 1920.
Terms of office
Section 1. The terms of the President and Vice President
shall end at noon the 20th day of January, and the terms of Senators and Representatives at noon on the 3d day of January,
of the years in which such terms would have ended if this article had not been ratified; and the terms of their successors
shall then begin.
Section 2. The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and such meeting shall
begin at noon on the 3d day of January, unless they shall by law appoint a different day.
Section 3. If, at
the time fixed for the beginning of the term of the President, the President elect shall have died, the Vice President elect
shall become President. If a President shall not have been chosen before the time fixed for the beginning of his term, or
if the President elect shall have failed to qualify, then the Vice President elect shall act as President until a President
shall have qualified; and the Congress may by law provide for the case wherein neither a President elect nor a Vice President
elect shall have qualified, declaring who shall then act as President, or the manner in which one who is to act shall be selected,
and such person shall act accordingly until a President or Vice President shall have qualified.
Section 4. The
Congress may by law provide for the case of the death of any of the persons from whom the House of Representatives may choose
a President whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them, and for the case of the death of any of the persons
from whom the Senate may choose a Vice President whenever the right of choice shall have devolved upon them.
5. Sections 1 and 2 shall take effect on the 15th day of October following the ratification of this article.
6. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures
of three-fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission. Ratified January 23, 1933.
Repeal of Prohibition
Section 1. The eighteenth article of amendment to the
Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.
Section 2. The transportation or importation into any
State, Territory, or possession of the United States for delivery or use therein of intoxicating liquors, in violation of
the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited.
Section 3. The article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been
ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by conventions in the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within
seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress. Ratified December
Term Limits for the Presidency
Section 1. No person shall be elected to the office of
the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two
years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than
once. But this Article shall not apply to any person holding the office of President when this Article was proposed by the
Congress, and shall not prevent any person who may be holding the office of President, or acting as President, during the
term within which this Article becomes operative from holding the office of President or acting as President during the remainder
of such term.
Section 2. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment
to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years from the date of its submission
to the States by the Congress. Ratified February 27, 1951.
Washington, D.C., suffrage
Section 1. The District constituting the seat of government
of the United States shall appoint in such manner as the Congress may direct:
A number of electors of President and
Vice President equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives in Congress to which the District would be entitled
if it were a state, but in no event more than the least populous State; they shall be in addition to those appointed by the
States, but they shall be considered, for the purposes of the election of President and Vice President, to be electors appointed
by a State; and they shall meet in the District and perform such duties as provided by the twelfth article of amendment.
2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
Ratified March 29, 1961.
Abolition of poll taxes
Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States
to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or
for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of
failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.
Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by
Ratified January 23, 1964.
Section 1. In case of the removal of the President from
office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.
Section 2. Whenever there
is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon
confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.
Section 3. Whenever the President transmits to the President
pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge
the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and
duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.
Section 4. Whenever the Vice President
and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law
provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written
declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately
assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.
Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President
pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists,
he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers
of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President
pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is
unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight
hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration,
or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds
vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall
continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.
Ratified February 10, 1967.
Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States,
who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account
Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
June 30, 1971.
Congressional pay raises
No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and
Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened. Ratified
May 7, 1992
Congress submitted the text of this amendment as part of the proposed Bill of Rights on September
27, 1789. The Amendment was not ratified together with the first ten Amendments.
Public Opinion: Best
Answer - Chosen By Voters
The US gov. is NOT a democracy and there is NO freedom
here it is all a lie devised by a covert alien occupation to rule above us.
We as people have NO constituional rights,
(a common and gov. ingrained misconception) the "constitution" is strictly a document outlining the powers and limitations
of our so-called government. "We the people" ONLY have the Bill of Rights(a seperate document).
As you may be aware
ALL officers of gov are sworn(literally on their lives) to "uphold the constitution"(the power of gov) and not the Bill of
Rights(show me an officer that on duty upheld the peoples rights and i'll show you a disgracfully terminated officer). THERE
IS NO ONE SERVING AND PROTECTING THE PEOPLE, we are feed a crock of lies and left vulnerable to be exploited by the REAL CRIMINALS;
our govs officers!
Only when people wake-up and realize that gov. is the first, largest and most profitable criminal
organization on the planet can there ever be a chance for true freedom.